The Shock of the New: View From the Edge part 2
Publication date 1979
Publisher New York, NY : Ambrose Video Pub.
Nineteenth-century romanticism gave way to 20th-century expressionism and the angst-ridden works of Die Brucke, Munch, Soutine, and Francis Bacon. But with World War II, reality in the form of photography outstripped expressionism in depicting man's inhumanity to man. The only alternative for artists like Rothko and Pollock was abstract expressionism
Narrated and written by art critic Robert Hughes. Produced by the BBC and Time-Life Television
Narrated and written by art critic Robert Hughes. Produced by the BBC and Time-Life Television
Creator_2 British Broadcasting Service. Television Service
Creator_3 Time-Life Television
Creator_4 Ambrose Video Publishing
Ocr The other important point through the disquieting human figure in the fifty's was a Dutchman who had emigrated to America then I'm to Kooning his paintings of women came partly out of American adds smiles and big dominating glamour girls in the last pop landscape of America's post-war whom Marilyn with sharp teeth. Susie Q What's Cooking with you your teeth look why don't I know no one knew my teeth are new but my toothpaste is New. Kids new package you play very new formula to me bright your smile for me and you know when the young know when when you guys should take with pets so did. My kids knows a move the cleaning is women are about anxiety they take the expressionist peer of the faithful will them to an almost comic stream squat growled overwhelming in primitive glimpsed but not analyzed the six colors changes into a fierce old a kind of idol. And I also was like some kind of clinched like beating monitors like this so when people say they're not really think us but a landscape just took a stand that they've asked us to me that. Maybe in a landscape I don't know vac Secondly not hearing a tablet somewhere. I don't think that I merely expressing the world very aptly. You know this is a new world the so-called Arab world. Something productive like everybody else I know my element and I and I don't get out of this world and I mean they're real brought him under Dean. Because and I'm sorry I'm doing all right. And I'm slipping I say this very interesting. And I'm standing upright. About me. When things are good. As a matter of fact I merely. Typed into that glimpse of the session. It's less like a slipping Clemson. This spontaneity of touching looking for slipping glimpse ram through Kooning his work both figurative and abstract. Bill him bacon were among the very few artists who could handle expressionist distortion after the Second World War because reality is had now outstripped ups. By the end of the war the entire world knew what had been done in the death camps of Nazi Germany and there was no testimony that up could give that could rival the evidence of the photograph. Today places like duck out of their own monuments but any distortion of the human body that an artist might make after nineteen forty five was going to have to bear comparison with what the Nazis a done to real bodies and very few expressionist paintings could stand the strain. Here to talk with the was a mess. Anything else would have seemed gratuitous. In the face of this this seemed to be very little with could say what we understand about the Holocaust we get from rising and photography but also had very little to contribute almost nothing of importance the effects of this failure are still with us after the war there were very few people who believe that after that carry the burden of May just social meanings anymore. There would be no more Goya's and call the shots in the death camps the only product as far as office concerned for silence. Beside these homes they were only two sources of income Tamina aged images open to UPS. Run was complete substraction the other was the natural world and Office been combining and recombining these with thirty you. Just pulled the First World War a group of German assets to that called sort of the Blue Rider and look to pure nature of a transcendental image of. One of them was the painter from smock. I try to heighten my feeling for the organic rhythm of all things. Try to feel myself pantheistic leap into the trembling and coursing of the blood in nature in trees in animals in the ass I see no happy a means to the animal lives in a box is I like to call it that the animal picture. Very early in life I already found Man and Animals seems to me cleaner and more beautiful but even in them I discovered much that was unacceptable and idly so that my aunt instinctively and out in a compulsion. Became increasingly schematic and abstract. Mark wrote that from the trenches in one hundred fifteen by the end he believe that obstruction was the only route to spiritual knowledge and certainly it seems to have had a prophetic quality for him in nineteen fourteen he painted this image called forms in battle two years later at the age of thirty six he was killed at the Battle of the doll. Pool Clay had been one of mocks closest friend has he survived the war and went on to teach at the barrel house and for another twenty years he would produce some of the most exquisite visions of nature in modern art small whiskey delicates and mysterious. His idea of the natural world was like the image in this water color the Open Book page after page opening backwards into the center. Disclosing another world growth and for. The the. He loved to invent all detail how to glyphs that signified unfamiliar corners of nature he was drawn to structures so small that the more malign misses the plants will see plankton dial tone she has. He loved whims of young the grotesque as long as they weren't too scary seeing a man with a barrel going to fail led to this water color. Entitled dumps you monster to my soft song. But for all its way but in those plays imagination was connected to deep strange in German Romantic out a vision of nature a sacramental a gift of God. Mysterious and benevolent. Him says liking the subject which had long been part of the romantic repertoire I see mountains for instance with the standard jacket pine. He used obstruction is a way of sharpening his perceptions of nature and I was to. In fact the central theme of Clay's work to which is water colours and paintings return over and over again is the Garden of Paradise. All life composed under the eye of natural order. Claimed to a painting at the bathhouse in Germany in the twenty's and one of his colleagues there was the first officers to try to paint transcendental images that were completely abstract. His name was Vasily Kandinsky. Kandinsky was Russian. He came to light he didn't begin until he was past thirty. Folks out on the Russian icon more easily influences and they showed in his bright patterns of flak colour. Of course he'd looked at five paintings to as you can see in the scanned in ski from the early nineteen hundred. But gradually the passions become more abstract the shapes are not immediately recognizable as women. But they are. In the midst of a possible scene with animals. In the landscape seep into the moon now near Munich in one thousand nine hundred nights the forms a broader free a the color more localized and specific. Color directly influences the SO. Colour is the people the eyes of the how most of the piano with many keys. The artist of the hand that plays touching one key or another with purpose to create vibrations so it follows that color harmony must rest alternately unintentional playing upon the human soul. This is one of the guiding principles of internal necessity so the next step was pure obstruction Kandinsky was with the also first and we believe that the sins of man came from too much material reality. He thought an age of the spirit was coming and reassure the right offer it would be totally abstract ideal and immaterial although. Kandinsky painted his first abstract pictures around nine hundred eleven the natural world continued to offer images of another sort. To both painters and sculptors some of the greatest images in modern art come from the tranquil insurance that however abstract you may get there is no break between human culture in the natural order and the high priest of this feeling was the sum of the Carpathian past his name was constant term Brancusi he lived in Paris and he died here in one hundred fifty seven and this was the studio a place visibly sacred to to and to the beauty of the marks that they make. Coming. Out of a strong craft background Brand who's a new the nature of these substances very well the quality is a Braun timber marble limestone plaster and want to do sculpture to have as substance the same perfection that his subjects had as organism. What this rector is failing for the scale of materials produced sculpture the declared itself in mass and inclined toward him surface but not indeed it began to look as time was perfect as a new laid. Frank who we wanted to find the most compressed form that still contained the subject not geometrical always organic like this stone fish who shape makes you see it slipping through layers of water all the minimum form repeated as in these endless columns composed of units that in theory could keep going up forever in every piece the tightest possible image whereas. For bring Cousy nature was pure and clearly defined there was an alternative tradition running through American painting that had its roots in Grand and the mysteries of landscape. In the nineteenth century the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River would come to typify what the American to build in this Mr office. It represents with the designs of gold is an edited manuscript. An American of Angelus to said that his idea of God was a sort of the numinous oblong blurb and this was the unwitting tix for the paintings of the American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko in the nineteen fifties. Roscoe kept the format of landscape the soft rectangles that can be read as Sky and flat plain sometimes with a bar like the horizon in between. But he gave the color a kind of breathing intensity and that more than any reference to landscape as such is what the paintings are about. They tried to suggest. Transcendence of Emerson's but through light and colour alone. There wasn't much direct landscape imagery and abstract expressionism of the general line was to deny that it was there a tall in case the paintings looked less radical and less abstract than they really were. But all the same it was there in an oblique way and the form that it took was a concern with giant sky or a painting like this one by Jackson Pollock is almost large enough to walk into the space it suggests is not just an illusion but a physical fact at least in two dimensions. In it the wave of pain takes on a completely physical look like nature itself the I can't take it to an old once it goes from not to not from Sky and the sky. Assembling the details into the hole as one of symbols a landscape by looking at it. Now abstract expressionism is less the creation of cowboys but of New York Jew It's all the same space itself. Righty and optimistic. Endless was very much an American myth and it was banned for effect them in seventh grade or another. And on a Jackson Pollock who was not a migrant sound but a Native American from the western states. Its effect was very large and. Pollock was the first American artist to influence the course of the world up for the last ten years of his life until he died in a car crash in nine hundred fifty six he lived and worked on Long Island outside New York. I mean direct. I usually pay on the part. I enjoy working on allies can thank you more at home more and even I began. Threatening the canvas on the floor I feel near my part of the teeth. This way I can walk around it first from all four sides and the and the pain. I'm in or to the end and years of the last. Three times I use a brush but often prefer using a stick. I'm times I pour the paint straight out of the can. Thank Mike to use a good thing. Philip. And method of any nerves a natural growth out of I want to express my feelings and I don't think they found. Pollock's drip technique used to be treated as a joke as though he were out of control but he wasn't the grips of playing to the spontaneous but they fail just where he wanted them building the surface into a web of sky and subtly energies working across the whole canvas. Polocrosse declared that he wanted to become like shit what to be made that he wanted to work parallel with its variety its unpredictability and above all its vitality he had a very large hands. Sometimes as in blue pose you might be looking at the sort of abstract yellow the same kind of every light them sprightly drawing. This nervous energy products expanding under strict control seems to refute the picture all there was a rip roaring wild cattle from Middle America. Only intelligence allied to a deep sense of the natural world can produce work like this. Another leading figure in abstract expressionism But at this point to endless Rajab is Robert mother will the last major colors used in the tradition of yours Brock but perhaps best known viz series of black and white plain to English the Elegies for the Spanish Republic. He's always preferred to keep direct imagery out of his work. I've painting is. A so does the working by indirection sizing read it again. Both internally and externally. Inflict the real object is not the world but the canvas of self. Always love that title of Max errands and one of his picks his the blind woman or I think in a way we all were to Brian's Well Mary says quite good swimmers but quite blind to the black was doing was slowly becoming. A somber force but also brilliant for us. There's certain painted who use black as a color is driven glee as. If they cover other artists can use fire engine red. Let's say but in the end it seems that in my mind. A Black is also symbolic you have doubt. Mother wills Spanish eulogies were provoked by the memory of the civil the day field of suggestion is not only political but in the meantime what happened to the older ambitions of abstract out like candy and skis hype but it could bring about some kind of spiritual change in those who are suing. The last religious commission given to a major artist is actually in America it's here in Houston Texas. Whether the lineal family built in London on a national chapel a space of contemplation that also commissioned the abstract expressionist knock Rocco to do paintings forge this was in nineteen sixty full and they were installed. Finished in one hundred seventy one a year after his death. In this chapel Roth who was soon to commit suicide. Took to its ultimate extreme the deal that color in this case a very narrow range of colors from plummy read through violence to black could carry the whole load of a spiritual experience. This is truly the last silence of romanticism. I can't answer this chapter without emotion but I never know whether I'm feeling what rock I meant for me to feel he wanted to be a great religious. He was not only a Jew but a Russian any one of these paintings to act like icons and to possess the full moral seriousness of the Russian novel. Now we have the wrong equipment that we had an exquisite sense of nuance silence. But this he wanted to carry the full of grandeur of the Old Testament it couldn't and these paintings are the result of. These are not active managers the Maldives ohms of silent blank slates which you complete looking at them and hopefully present a psych ward is the state of receptivity of slow looking in fact the condition of being an artist of being mocked rocket the world was drained after now does that make them really just. I will be on them than I have hopes of in this chapel and if I have my doubts it's because they're so very withdrawn the horizons and storms of the earlier Magic's ability is of gone and what is left as the sole subject of contemplation is of voice. Now.
Run time 28:27
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Worldcat (source edition) 316986076